Los Angeles FC's Mamadou Mbacke Fall has credited his teammates for allowing him to become one of the most effective goalscoring center-backs in Major League Soccer.
Just 19 years old, Fall made his breakthrough last year after time on loan with LAFC's USL affiliate, Las Vegas Lights.
Despite primarily keeping the back door closed for the Black and Gold, Fall has already chipped in with five goals in 21 MLS appearances, proving particularly deadly on set pieces. On Sunday, the Senegalese defender popped up in the 93rd minute to salvage a point at home to the Portland Timbers after some great work from winger Brian Rodriguez.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Fall credited his teammates for 'serving a plate' and making it easy for him to get on the scoresheet once again.
“It’s always great to score, but it was the work of the team. Everybody got involved,” said the teenager. “It was just like, they were just cooking and they served me a plate and I’ve got to eat my dinner.”
Fall immediately ran over to celebrate with the LAFC supporters, who backed their team right to the death and were rewarded with a hard-earned point.
"I think it's really important when you score to show them (the fans) the love the way they show love during the entire 90 minutes," Fall added. "It was great. Every time I get on the score sheet, I'm happy. I'm happy [now]."
For head coach Steve Cherundolo, Fall's goal was further proof that his team has the right attitude, even if the result wasn't what they were looking for.
"Our group showed good spirit again, showed they were a team, showed they have bite, and don't like to lose. I was very happy with that" he said.
"Things we just talked about in the locker room to improve on would be creating more quality chances. If you're having that much possession and dominating the game so much from the 22nd or 23rd minute onwards, you need to create more clear chances."
After taking four points from their opening two games, LAFC travel to Inter Miami on Saturday.